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Pregnancy: Sport does not endanger the child

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 181 views

Many women are afraid of exercising during pregnancy. They fear damage to the child, especially a miscarriage. But the concern is unfounded. On the contrary: mother and child benefit.

Few women are sufficiently physically active during pregnancy,” says Maria Perales from the University of Madrid. “The main reason for this is the uncertainty of what kind of sports are recommended and which ones should be avoided.”

The researcher and her team have compiled from various studies how much and what type of sport expectant mothers should ideally do – and which types of sport are unfavorable.

Strength training plus endurance sports

A combination of strength training and endurance sports of 20 to 30 minutes a day or at least on most days is therefore recommended. However, pregnant women should not exhaust themselves – the intensity should remain moderate. A good guide for this is not getting too out of breath during the workout and still being able to carry on a conversation.

Pregnancy motivates those who are reluctant to exercise

The researchers stress that this recommendation doesn’t just apply to healthy women who exercised before getting pregnant: exercise is also safe for women who have high blood pressure or are overweight.

The researchers emphasize that pregnancy is an ideal time to bring more physical activity into your life. Because the knowledge that physical activity is good for the child motivates the mother.

On the other hand, too little exercise during pregnancy is problematic: extreme weight gain , gestational diabetes , back pain and incontinence are then more likely and the risk of a caesarean section also increases.

Good for the kid

Exercise is also good for the unborn child: blood flow and oxygen supply are stimulated, which also benefits the child. Aside from the fact that a mother’s healthy lifestyle has a direct impact on the child anyway, the offspring of active mothers are rarely excessively heavy at birth . A very high birth weight is therefore associated with a higher risk of later obesity and diabetes.

Endurance sports such as walking, swimming , training on the home trainer, cross-country skiing or hiking are beneficial . Joggers can also continue with their usual training, but should take it easy.

Pilates and yoga , on the other hand, do not bring the same health benefits, but they can promote mental stability and reduce possible pain and tension.

risky sports

Pregnant women should avoid physical activities that entail the risk of falling, such as alpine skiing, downhill cycling, inline skating or volleyball.

From the second trimester of pregnancy, expectant mothers should refrain from exercises that involve heavy use of the abdominal muscles or that involve lying flat on the back, as these can restrict blood flow to the baby.

You should also be careful not to increase your heart rate too much. “Otherwise there is a risk of overheating, dehydration , but also reduced blood flow in the uterus, which could harm the child.

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